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Should I use a VPN for gaming?

Should I use a VPN for gaming?


Your computer’s personal IP address is a digital fingerprint that identifies you online and affects what you can do and view online. For legal, business and practical reasons, websites, streaming services, and games display different content depending on what is identified as your country of origin.

Examples of where your IP address affects what you can see or do online could be a website that changes the default language in which its text appears, or the site has to show warnings or block content because it has to comply with certain laws in specific country, matching services that connect you to servers that you believe will provide the best in-game experience, and video-on-demand services that provide different licensed content for different geographies.

With simple tools, knowing an IP address makes it easy to find out a person’s ISP, geographic location (including country and city) and track that person’s online activities. This information plays a big role in how online advertising systems deliver content that they think will be most relevant to you. With an IP address, it would never be difficult to track down the real person behind anything they do online.

For a variety of reasons, some people choose to hide their real IP address when using the Internet, keeping their identity hidden, and one of the most popular techniques to do this is to use a VPN.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Networks, a technology that allows your computer to connect securely and privately to another computer over the Internet as if it were part of a local network, in a bubble where the outside world cannot access the connections or know where individual client devices are located. At least that’s how it works in theory.

When connected to a VPN, your computer makes all outgoing and incoming connections to the Internet through a server in a specific country, owned and maintained by your VPN provider. Every packet that travels between you and the VPN is encrypted, and your online identity appears to be the identity of your VPN provider, not from the real ISP.

When you do anything online while connected to a VPN, from accessing websites to playing games, your identity will appear to be using a different IP address than the one your ISP issued, and a different DNS service.

However, VPNs were not invented as a privacy tool. The same technology is used by businesses, public services and the military – allowing important documents and data to be exchanged remotely over encrypted communications, without worrying that a third party could gain access to confidential information, which could have disastrous consequences.

What are the benefits of using a VPN?

VPNs have capabilities beyond these three examples, and some of them can make a difference to the way you play games and enjoy online content. Here are some examples:

1) Not surprisingly, angry losers in games stalk rival players, find their IP address and track them down in real life. While this behavior is quite confusing and unlikely to occur, you may feel less annoyed by your opponent’s insults and threats when you know that your identity shows you’re connected to the game from a location in the Timbuktu countryside, rather than your real IP address.

2) Using your computer with free public wi-fi in places like coffee shops and transportation may not be safe, either from other users (the guy in the corner drinking latte with a teaspoon may be checking every laptop in the room) or the building may be logged Every connection you make.

3) Network administrators in workplace and colleges routinely go to great lengths to block internet access, restrict ports used for gaming, restrict certain websites and restrict torrenting. A VPN may circumvent these restrictions.

4) If you’re based in the European Union, because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you’ll probably get used to seeing website after website repeatedly asking for consent for cookies and ads, or you find that some websites have had to block access from EU countries during Legislation Compliance—Currently an issue with certain US media titles. Whether or not this approach to user data is a good thing is just another popup to bear when browsing the web. Connecting via a VPN hosted in a country outside the EU will make those popups disappear.

5) Although the extra layer of a VPN often means slower download speeds, in some cases, you may find downloads are done faster through the VPN host.

6) Some streaming services offer region-locked content that can only be shown in certain countries due to various copyright issues. A VPN is a potential solution, making it look like you’re from a country where additional content is available. The highlight here is Netflix, some TV shows and movies are only available in the US, UK, etc. Unfortunately, Netflix has now focused on this, blocking many VPNs from watching video streams.

7) Besides gaming, there are many political reasons to use a VPN. Some countries, such as China, block large swathes of websites that, in order to limit public knowledge of the outside world, or criticize the system, their government decides that their citizens should not see. Using a VPN overcomes these limitations, unlocking the whole and free web. In times of conflict, repressive governments impose explicit restrictions on much of the internet, restricting the flow of information in and out of the country. VPNs can be a way to get this information.

How do I use a VPN?

In general, VPNs can be set up in one of three ways: via the Windows network configuration pages, where you’ll need to enter your VPN username and password and select all the correct settings – usually given to you by the VPN provider; Via software that is downloaded to your computer, is in your system tray and when activated, only allows connections via VPN; Or via the router’s built-in software (if it supports VPNs), which means every device on your network communicates via a VPN.

A wide range of VPN services are available, some of which can be used for free, and some of which require a subscription fee. Be especially wary of free services. A free VPN still needs some way to fund its existence, and while it may hide your computer in a bubble from the outside world, you share that bubble with other users and with the VPN provider itself, which can access a lot of information about your usage The internet really.

Some VPN providers allow you to connect to two servers – one as an entry point and one as an exit point – as another layer of anonymity. Although the flexibility of this extra layer of security has never been tested, it certainly appears to be more secure than using a single server, as it makes it difficult to identify and identify your information. Your ISP only sees that you’re connected to server A. The website you’re visiting only sees you connected from server B. Only the VPN provider knows you’re connected from A to B.

What does a VPN do for PC gaming?

Using a VPN means adding another layer between you and the outside world. Unfortunately, this means extra latency. The amount of extra latency depends on where your VPN server is located, and where the server you are trying to connect to. If you want to use a VPN, you’ll need to think about this before you start playing it.

Using a VPN doesn’t mean the low days of sniping are over. Most VPN providers offer a number of different countries to connect to. The simple solution is to connect to the server with the least ping time. VPN software often comes with a ping tool that displays the latency of each server in the list, so either choose a server that is geographically close to you, or the one with the lowest ping.

Depending on how good your VPN provider is and how stable a particular VPN server is, you may encounter some additional issues. VPN servers can sometimes drop randomly or become unstable, in which case you will be kicked out of the game or face packet loss issues. It’s impossible to know how well a VPN provider does with games until you sign up and try them out for yourself, which can be a risky bet if the provider doesn’t offer a trial period. Even then, some servers may be better than others, and it may take some trial and error to find a reliable server.

The number of factors involved means that continuing with verbal recommendations for gaming performance may not always work either. A user with a slow 10Mbps home broadband connection may have a bad experience with local servers, while a lucky player with a 1Gb connection may love the service, but neither says much about how good it will work.

Do VPNs guarantee privacy?

Despite what you may read, there is no sure way to guarantee absolute privacy with a VPN. VPN providers may be forced by host country law to keep logs about who they’re calling, and may have to hand over details when boys in blue (or red) uniforms knock on the door. There are also many flaws in VPN technology that can reveal a user’s true identity, such as a “middle attack” or a DNS leak. But as usual on the Internet, there are ways to mitigate these risks.

There are unconfirmed reports that, in the past, VPNs have been hacked by government agencies – although it is unclear how this was achieved. And like any aspect of computer security, technology is a cat-and-mouse game between researchers who want to design better encryption and security and those who want to crack it. There is no way to know if people working for well-funded organizations have discovered a vulnerability in all VPN protocols, or if they can hack the encryption that allows them to bypass existing security methods.

But you can take off the tin hat now. There is a slight (likely) chance that one of these agencies will waste time tracking down students who play Fortnite on their college network, or people who want to watch a new episode of Game of Thrones a few days in advance.

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